Crowdfunding is becoming a popular way to finance a recording project, thanks to sites like Kickstarter, MyBandStock, indiegogo, Rockethub and Sellaband, among others. Regardless of which site you use, the idea is the same - it allows your fans to pool their money in order to fund your project.
If crowdfunding is something that you'd like to pursue, here are 4 rules to help your campaign be successful.
1) Choose an attainable goal amount. Everybody would like a $100,000 budget to work with, but unless you have a large fan base to begin with, you're probably dreaming if you think you can raise that amount. Even a once-huge selling band like Public Enemy had to cut their goal from $250k to $75k, so be realistic in both what you need and what you can raise.
2) Concentrate on low price points. Kickstarter's data indicates that $50 is the optimum investment point, closely followed by $25. While most artists also include amount in the thousands as well, don't count on these being filled.
3) Make sure the investment reward is sufficient. Remember that you're not getting a donation, it's an investment and your investors will expect something in return. Check out this list of incentives from Hind as an example. Of course, one of the most brilliant list of incentives comes from Josh Freese (Perfect Circle, Nine Inch Nails, Devo, Weezer). A lot of it was meant to be funny for promotion's sake, but people took him up on it anyway.
4) Keep the campaign short. Kickstarter has found that the optimum campaign is 30 days, with longer campaigns performing significantly worse. The biggest periods of investment come right in the beginning and right before it closes, with everything in the middle a somewhat "dead period." If that's the case, you might as well make the campaign short since there's no advantage to dragging it out.
Kickstarter has some great additional info and data on a recent blog post that's also worth checking out.
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